Just two short weeks ago I was in Dallas, at the Romantic Times convention with a couple thousand readers and writers, celebrating the joy of books, specifically romance novels. Yes, those paperbacks many people love to make fun of. But no one in Dallas was making fun - everyone was there to celebrate the sparks that fly when a hero and heroine meet and that happy ending we all want in real life.
So, how did we celebrate? We found fellow readers to visit with, we got books signed by our favorite authors, we ate chocolate, we scrounged free books, ate more chocolate, connected with old friends and made new ones. And talked about the stories we love. Some of us even made hats. (A big thank you to Eloisa James for sponsoring such a fun event!)
I had a wonderful time meeting readers. (A special thanks to my friend Shari and her fun daughter Jenny for the fabulous coasters they made me featuring covers from some of my books.) You know, most of us who write would do it no matter what, but it's so much more fun to have others who want to share our stories, who come along and stay with us clear till THE END. For many of us, the Romantic Times was THE BEGINNING of a beautiful new friendship! Thank you readers for making my life possible. I'll see you all next year.
Another Memorial Day weekend - time to go camping, have picnics, enjoy the three day weekend. For so many of us, that's become the focus of the holiday. But it started out with a very different purpose. Originally called Decoration Day, this day was set aside to remember those who died in the Civil War. After World War I the holiday was changed to honor all who have fallen in war.
At this holiday, I often think of my mother-in-law, who signed on as a military wife. She and Dad met during World War II. He managed to get a day off to get married but that was about it. Their wedding night was spent on the beach, and it wasn't a romantic interlude like in the classic movie FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. At one point she felt a pulling on her hair, but it wasn't Dad running his fingers through it. It was wharf rat taking a nibble. Yikes! Dad was career army, and that meant Mom was in charge on the home front, supervising moves and paying rent and keeping four kids busy and out of mischief. I see so many military wives these days doing the same thing, holding down the fort while their husband is at sea or stationed far from home. Military wives, I don't know how you do it, but you have my admiration!
I suspect most of us have a relative who served in the military. I hope we'll all take some time this weekend to say thank you to someone who's served, to remember our fallen. We may not agree with the rightness of a war, but we can all appreciate the sacrifice so many have made.
I'm so glad there is one day out of the year dedicated to helping us remember to thank the woman who gives so much of herself to make our lives good. My mother's no longer with me and I miss her beyond words. She loved and cherished me, supported me in my every endeavor and encouraged me through every trial. She was my biggest fan and my best friend. In short, she was perfect.
Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect mom. Funny though, searching through all my memories, I can't seem to find a single one to remind me that she had flaws. Perhaps that's because her love for me was so great it covered the few small ones she had. I can only hope that, someday, when I'm gone, my kids will look back on our times together and see me through the same rose-colored glasses (although my flaws are a heck of a lot bigger). Because in the end, as the Bible says, the greatest gift God gives us is love. It does cover a multitude of sins. And a mom's love? Wow, does it overlook a lot.
Motherhood is a two-way blessing, isn't it? Those of us who have a good mom receive a foundation for a well-balanced live and the encouragement to reach for our dreams. Those of us who are a mom get the opportunity to help our children grow to their full potential. Momhood is a wondeful thing!
So to all of you celebrating today, happy Mother's Day. To those of us who are remembering, happy Mother's Day. Thank God for Moms!